Prakash Karat mum on Lavalin case

via published on January 22, 2009

NEW DELHI: The CPI (M) is keeping mum on politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan’s reported involvement in the SNC-Lavlin case, one of the biggest scams in the history of the state.

Vijayan’s name reportedly figured on the report filed by the CBI.

Home Minister and politburo member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the CBI has sought permission to prosecute Vijayan.

‘I’m not interested to comment on it now. I have nothing to say about this,’ party general secretary Prakash Karat told reporters here. This is for the first time in the history of the CPM one of its politburo members getting involved in a scam.

The CBI has also sought state governor’s sanction to prosecute 11 accused, including former power minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

The charges are expected to be filed in the Kerala High Court after the CBI gets the nod from the state governor.

Vijayan was the electricity minister in 1997, when contract to Canada-based SNC Lavlin was awarded for the renovation and modernization of the Pallivassal, Chengulam and Panniyar hydro-electric projects in Idukki district.

Meanwhile, Balakrishnan came out openly to defend Vijayan.

Addressing a public meeting in Thiruvananthapuram, Balakrishnan alleged that the Congress was using CBI to political purposes. ‘The Congress-led government at the centre revived the case to gain political score in the Lok Sabha elections. This is a revengeful act by Congress for withdrawing our support to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government,’ he said.

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